From pictures of Barack Obama watching in apparent rapt attention on Air Force One, to videos of him publicly telephoning the squad and telling them “You did us proud!” it seems like America has finally ‘got’ football – and got it bad! On the day after the American team was eliminated from the World Cup by Belgium, ‘USA Today’ reported that despite the defeat, “soccer in America…got nothing but a big win!”
Cossetted in his penthouse in Brazil, such comments must warm the cockles of Sepp Blatter’s heart. If the 78 year-old danced a little Swiss jig of joy that his sport has finally broken into the most lucrative market in the world however, he probably should temper his exaltation and read on a little. The article goes on the say that “Did everyone understand the rules? Most certainly not. Will a lot of the people who watched the game stop caring about soccer tomorrow morning? Absolutely.” Hmm, perhaps not so much on the big breakthrough then, eh Sepp? So, USA. All that ‘soccer’ thing. How’s that working out for you?
Yes, I know a lot of people will say things like ‘You say that now…’ but you’re going to have to either believe me or not, I guess. It is true however that Louis van Gaal’s goalkeeper substitution shenanigans in the World Cup quarter final over the weekend brought back memories of another penalty shoot-out some twenty-four years ago, and an outlandish suggestion I made at the time. Continue reading →
The birth and passing of the eloquent and rich, but all-too-short, story of the Danish Dynamite team were both delivered at the feet of Jesper Olsen. In a qualifier for the European Championships of 1984, Denmark were playing an England team managed by the late Sir Bobby Robson for the first time. Olsen’s stunning last minute equaliser declared to the world that, here was something special. Here was a team that would pick up the baton left by the ‘totaal voetbal’ of the Dutch 1970’s vintage, and run with it, tinting the orange flame with the explosive pace and dribbling skills of red and white dynamite. Continue reading →
Although hardly an impolite nudge in the back, the contact didn’t seem all that serious when it happened. Yes, the player did seem to be in, but that’s hardly a novele feature in this tournament, with apparently stricken souls suddenly revitalised by the ministering hands of the physio. This time however it was serious. Continue reading →
One day, sitting in the office, I was chewing the fat over recent events in the football world with my colleague Sull – nothing unusual about that. Sull lives in Nuneaton, and he was telling me about the triumphs and trials of his local club, Nuneaton Town. He was bemoaning the fact that The ‘Boro’ as the club are known due to a previous incarnation, had enjoyed a fairly successful season, but had then lost their manager to Wrexham. The new man in charge was former Ayr United manager Brian Reid, who apparently had previously been managing in the Philippines. Being a football blogger, my interest was piqued as it sounded like it might be an interesting story to write about.
Casually dropping into research mode, I asked Sull a few further questions and found out that the club had also signed a player from Reid’s old club in the Philippines; someone who had been been a star of the Polish U20 team and had then travelled around world playing for various clubs before landing in the small Warwickshire town. By now I was becoming intrigued. Grabbing my ever-handy, trusty notebook and pencil like the seasoned hack I always envisaged I was, I made a few notes and planned how I could find out more. Continue reading →
As James Rodriguez buried the second goal for Colombia there will have been an echoing of exhaling across Brazil from fans of the Selecao. This expression of relief more than joy would have had nothing to do with any solidarity amongst teams wearing yellow shirts. As the Colombians overcame a tepid Uruguay performance, any prospect of a repeat of the darkest day in Brazilian football’s history vanished. Brazil will now face the team fronted by Rodriguez, rather than the ghosts of their haunted past. Continue reading →
Sporting Lisbon have jumped the queue slowly being formed by a number of a number Premier League clubs, and snatched away the player called ‘mini Messi’ in Scotland. The Lisbon club have laid out a fairly modest £3millikon fee to whisk the 18 year-old away to the Estadio Jose Alvalade on a six year contract. With sporting having an established line of stars from iis stable including Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, Gauld’s future is probably in experienced hands. Continue reading →
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If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that previously my articles have been spread across my Facebook page and tumblr as well as Sport Lobster.
Moving forwards though all my content will be posted on this website. My Twitter feed will still be out and about of course, and so will my Sport Lobster, but from now on, http://www.allbluedaze.com will be the home for All Blue Daze.